Once presented as a symbol of nationalism, equality and self-reliance, Khadi has played a vital role in providing employment, income and livelihood to our poverty- stricken masses. The Khadi industry thus took a step towards the development of the nation both in terms of instilling unity among the populace, as well as supporting the economy. In Mahatma Gandhi’s words, “I am a salesman of Swaraj. I am a devotee of Khadi. It is my duty to induce people, by every honest means, to wear Khadi.” Even in the modern-day world, the significance of Khadi remains undoubtedly unchallenged. Cardinals of the Gandhian gospel, hence, ought to appreciate the nudging steps taken by the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh government to promote the fabric culture of Khadi.
In an attempt to make Uttar Pradesh the ‘Ummeedon ka Pradesh’, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav takes another massive stride by launching schemes to boost production and use of Khadi with the constant support of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Rae Bareli.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s enunciation of the “free-power loom” for weavers’ machines proved to be a laudatory move in terms of public welfare. Further, he also distributed 75 power-loom machines in the Bundelkhand region – 50 for Jhansi and 25 for Banda at the event, and in this way acknowledging Edmund Cartwright’s invention of the machine in best of ways.
“Khadi needs publicity. If not publicized, Khadi will lag behind. The Uttar Pradesh state government will extend all possible help in promoting these products,” the Chief Minister exclaimed, while launching the additional schemes under the Khadi and Village Industries Department.
Chief Minsiter Akhilesh Yadav also expressed his feelings talking about the pressing need of research in this field. He spoke about the marketing and branding of Khadi, which would be done with the help of the students of NIFT, Rae Bareli.
The NIFT students have promoted Khadi as an ethnic fabric material by making it more enticing and vibrant. Appreciating the good work done by NIFT, Akhilesh Yadav divulged, “We need more NIFT-like institutions in the state.” For this, he announced, the Uttar Pradesh government is ready to provide land to set up another NIFT, either in Lucknow or in Noida.
In FY2015, the Uttar Pradesh government had established 1,478 new Khadi units which helped create job opportunities for 29,000 people. During the current fiscal year, the Uttar Pradesh government has set a target of establishing 3,000 more units in Uttar Pradesh, which shall yield up-to 60,000 more job opportunities. A research centre is also being established in Kushinagar.
Mahatma Gandhi, with his knowledge about the upliftment of the downtrodden masses, had introduced the Khadi and Village Industries in the nation, and in today’s world, with the diminishing popularity of Khadi, the Uttar Pradesh government is all set to take Khadi to its zenith of production and popularity with its constant efforts.